"Our objective was and is to become one of the top premium boutique wineries in Australia"
The sandy, wind-blown soils on top of clay are perfect for Shiraz, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon. The old vines were planted by Heinrich Gerhard Ahrens and his family who immigrated to the Barossa in 1837, who first planted the vineyard in the 1840s. This included the current 6 acres of 1840s Grenache which are among the oldest producing vines in the world. The vineyard was inherited by his daughter Amine Berthe in the 1860s, who married C.F.W. Lehmann, the founder of the current Lehmann family. The Ahrens/Lehmann family planted the Shiraz – a staggering 10 acre block remains from the early 1870's. In 2013 we spent 6 months taking out the trellissing and wires, removing everything affected over the yars by dead arm or eutypa, then re-trellissiing and rewiring and retraining these ancient vines on to new infrastructre - it took a huge investment of craftmanship and time but has effectively brought these wonderful old wines back to a vigorous and healthy life! Other varieties include a 10 acre Semillon block from the 1840's, as well as the other classic varieties of the Barossa – Mataro, Riesling, Chardonnay. Vine Vale has always produced the finest Barossa Cabernets, and our large Cabernet vineyard fruit is second to none.
Without doubt the most important factor in successful application in the vineyard of biodynamic viticulture practices is not the astronomical callendar or the juxtaposition of the sun moon and planets, or even the important fruiting days, but rather the complete absence of herbicides, which in turn raises the problem of how to deal with the weeds! Indeed, a chemically farmed commercial vineyard is easily identifiable through the complete absence of weeds between the wines. Our Ahrens' Creek vineyard in the early days definitely resembled Jurassic Park. We now have in place 3 regimes for the eradication of between-vine weeds - whipper snippering by hand, again by tractor-drawn machine, and finally (when the weeds are of manageable size) by out sensor activated undervine weeder imported from Italy.
Set in the heart of Barossa the site has the same sandy soils as our Barossa Ridge vineyard across the road, and is perfectly suited for Grenache, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Mataro. These grapes have initially featured in our Twins and Breechens ranges, but we have recently bottled the 2012 vintage our Ahrens' Creek Old Vine Grenache which will be released with our Trial Hill and Greenock Rise Old Vine Grenaches of the same year as a new Single Vineyard Grenache series. We will also release in the future our Ahrens' Creek Shiraz which will join the ranks of our Single Vineyard Shirazes.